Safety tips for residents while enjoying the outdoors.

“According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), home and recreational injuries can be prevented, yet they make up roughly a third of all emergency room visits each year,” said Cook County Department of Public Health COO Dr. Terry Mason. “Follow some basic prevention tips listed below to keep you and your family safe and healthy this summer.”

Food Safety

According to the CDC, norovirus is the leading cause of disease outbreaks from contaminated food in the U.S.  Tips to stay healthy:

  • Always wash hands before preparing food and after handling raw meats. Scrub fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoid cross-contaminating foods by keeping each item separate. Wrap foods well.
  • Keep food chilled. Stock a cooler with plenty of ice and maintain a temperature of 40F.
  • Cook hamburgers to an internal temperature of 160F; hot dogs to 165F.
  • Keep hot food at 140F or above and cold food at 40F or below. Refrigerate leftovers within two hours.

Water Safety

The CDC reports drowning as the second leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 14 years. Tips to stay healthy:

  • Always provide adult supervision while children are in or around water. Maintain gates and fences around residential pools.
  • Make sure kids wear life jackets and always keep floatation devices on hand.
  • Remember that lifeguards are on duty to respond to emergencies, not to supervise children.

Fall Prevention

According to the CDC, falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries and, among older adults, the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries. Tips to stay healthy:

  • Reduce hazards at home by adding grab bars inside and outside the tub or shower and next to the toilet, add railings on both sides of stairways, and improve the lighting in your home.
  • Exercise regularly to increase leg strength and improving balance.
  • Ask your doctor or pharmacist to review your prescription and over-the counter medicine to see if any cause dizziness or drowsiness.

For more injury prevention facts and tips, please visit www.cdc.gov.